Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Shakori Essentials: Suénalo

Shakori Hills is exactly seven days away now, with anticipation rising I've come to realize how devastatingly excited I am for the two sets of latin-afro jazz party that is Suénalo.  Shakori Hills allows you to find bands that you're entirely ignorant about in genres you're mostly unfamiliar with, but somehow connect with these acts on personal levels.  Suénalo is a band hailing from Miami, FL that seemingly only comes this way for Shakori, giving you all the more reason to see this glorious show while you can.  The band has two sets that are unparalleled on Friday and Saturday evening on the Meadow Stage and Dance Tent respectively, I for one know that I'll be attending both shows.

Last Spring I was anxiously waiting for Equanimous Minds in the Dance Tent and battling between staying around to hang out with my friends or trudging through potential rainfall to see Bombadil when I heard the lively, riotous sounds of Suénalo.  Any apprehension I had about missing the local favorites were tossed out the window, within minutes I was awkwardly arm flailing along with the droves of equally excited crowd members.  The experience was absolutely invigorating, from their deep Afropop/Cuban influence blended with upbeat hip-hop stylings to the bombastic energy the band permeates whilst on stage, it's easy to find yourself overcome by the jaunting yet melodic rhythms.  Equanimous Minds was the highlight of the festival for many I went with (an electronic act standing out at a Grassroots festival?  Preposterous!), but I for one couldn't help but feel like Suénalo stole the show, hell possibly the festival.

Suénalo's MC, Amin De Jesus is a charismatic leader for the band, conducting the crowd as if they were his little marrionettes.  He says jump and the crowd leaps.  He shouts, "Suénalo!" they shout "Suénalo!" twice as hard with ear-to-ear grins.  Their music is somewhat of an anomaly at the festival, while there's always diverse talent drawing influence from every corner of the world, none seem to do it with such flare and finesse as Suénalo.  Recently celebrating their 10 year anniversary, the experience they have together is clear.  Saying this band is tight is an understatement, they've allowed their talents to flow together freely and developed a precise call and response style that makes for a fantastic soundtrack for your all night dance party.  Get ready to dance your ass off, because Suénalo's infectious good vibes will be taking the main stage on Friday, October 5 on the Meadow Stage at 11:00. I'd imagine such a prominent Friday night set will lead to a fantastic crowd for the band's set on Saturday, October 6 in the Dance Tent at 11:00.  Do yourself a favor and become a part of this, hell maybe even attend the Latin Dance Workshop that'll be going on in the Dance Tent right before Suénalo on Saturday night.

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